Over the last couple of days there have been growing rumours of a potential return to Goodison Park for academy graduate Jack Rodwell. The Birkdale born youngster is still only 22 years old, but has already packed a lot into a fractured career that, despite been regularly disrupted by injury, has always been one of promise and potential.
Ninety-seven Premier League appearances, three caps for England and a big money move to the then champions of England, Rodwell has achieved a great deal in his fledgling football career, but it is perhaps his unfulfilled potential that Jack Rodwell is best known for. After bursting onto the scene as a huge talent at just 16 year of age, Jack Rodwell appeared to have all the attributes to become a huge Premier League star. A strong physical presence, was perfectly complemented by his ability on the ball. It is very rare to find a player so at ease with the ball at his feet, but Rodwell is assured and appears to have unlimited time when in possession. Unfortunately and probably most telling in his career to date, has been a lack of belief to become the world-class player that his undoubted talent deserves.
Throughout his time at Everton he struggled to establish himself as a first team regular and he was always the first to make way with Moyes preferring the security of experience, rather than placing his full trust in youth. It would be fair to say that Rodwell’s approach didn’t fit well with the tactics of David Moyes, but the transition made at Everton during the opening few months of the Roberto Martinez reign, would make him a perfect fit alongside McCarthy as the long-term successor to the brilliant Gareth Barry.
It is rather sad that 15 months into a 5 year contract, the talk is of Jack returning to his boyhood club, with his move to Manchester City turning sour. The first year of that deal was constantly interrupted by persistent trouble with his hamstring, the same injury which curtailed his involvement during his final 18 months at Everton. But even if Rodwell was to manage a prolonged injury free run, it is hard to see him figuring for Pellegrini’s Manchester City. The Chilean manager has made Fernandino and Yaya Toure his preferred two in midfield and his baffling persistence with the awful Garcia, means that in all likelihood, Rodwell is at very best, fourth choice for a midfield berth.
A number of Evertonians weren’t too disappointed when Rodwell was sold on, especially considering the fee the club received from Sheikh Mansour’s Manchester City. £12 million represented excellent business for Everton and that fee may yet rise to £15 million over the next three years. But there is always a feeling of disappointment and regret when one of the clubs bright Academy prospects is sold on without fulfilling his potential and it would be wonderful to see an Everton midfield featuring the exciting talents of Ross Barkley and Jack Rodwell.
What are your thoughts on the potential return of Jack Rodwell? Would he fit seamlessly into the plans of Roberto Martinez?